Friday, May 10, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 head to head review

KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone has arrived, and while it faces serious competition in the Android arena from the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z, it also has another competitor, Apple's iPhone 5.
Admittedly the iPhone 5 is a few months older than the Galaxy S4, but with its high-end specifications and its continued ability to attract smartphone buyers, the latest iPhone is arguably one of the Galaxy S4's fiercest rivals.

DesignAs we pointed out in our Samsung Galaxy S4 review, Samsung's latest flagship smartphone failed to win us over when it comes to design.
The firm hasn't budged from the design strategy it introduced with last year's Samsung Galaxy S3, encasing the Galaxy S4 in a fully plastic casing that feels pretty cheap in the hand. We got our hands on the black model, and we found that its flimsy battery cover proved to be a nightmare for picking up fingerprints and grease, and its lack of grip often saw us losing hold of the Galaxy S4.
iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S4 design
Although it feels cheap, the Galaxy S4 casing is pretty tough and has protected the phone from a fair few drops and near death experiences during our time with the phone. Another bonus is the handset's size, with the phone measuring a neat 137x71x8.6mm despite the handset's large 5in screen.
The iPhone 5, on the other hand, boasts an aluminum backplace that feels much more luxurious and expensive than that of the Galaxy S4, despite Samsung's flagship smartphone actually costing around £50 more. It's also impressively small, weighing just 112g compared to the Galaxy S4's weight of 133g. The Samsung Galaxy S4 doesn't feel hefty, but the iPhone 5 will sit a bit more comfortably in your jeans pocket.
While the iPhone 5 is the clear winner when it comes to aesthetics, its aluminum casing can be prone to picking up scratches, although our phone has remained pretty much unscathed thus far.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is undoubtedly one of the smartphone's highlights. The handset features a 5in 1080x1920 Super AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch (ppi), which translates to excellent vibrancy, good colour balance and decent viewing angles, although the display did often struggle in bright sunlight. We also found the display wasn't quite as bright as those of some competing devices such as the HTC One.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 screen
The iPhone 5's 4in 640x1136 Retina display with 326ppi sounds pale in comparison to the full HD screen found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, although the iPhone is older than the Galaxy S4, it's hard to criticise the handset's screen, which also offers good viewing angles, crisp text and great colour clarity.
However, thanks to Samsung's Super AMOLED technology, we think the Galaxy S4 might edge out the Iphone 5 with its deep blacks and impressive colour reproduction.
In terms of size, we found ourselves more comfortable operating the 4in screen of the iPhone 5, with our fingers and thumbs able to easily reach all corners of the screen. However, as smartphone screens are becoming bigger, the Galaxy S4's larger 5in screen is likely to appeal to media hungry buyers.
Winner: Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 breezes through the performance category too, featuring a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.9GHz processor. In addition to performing well in benchmarking tests, the Galaxy S4 was a pleasure to use. We noticed no lag when opening apps, the phone handled multitasking well and, overall, it proved to be one of the fastest smartphones we've ever used.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 performance

The iPhone 5's dual-core 1.2GHz processor might sound measly in comparison, but six months after the handset's release we still haven't encountered any issues with the its performance. That's probably because all iOS apps are optimised to work on the iPhone, whereas Android applications are designed to work on hundreds of different smartphones.

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